A full home at the moment at St Bride’s in Fleet Avenue for Laurie Purden’s memorial (obituary right here), writes Victor Olliver. It was a really Laurie-esque event: elegant, amusing and fantastically executed. The church choir was blissful – I liked the rendition of Fly Me To The Moon.

In case you didn’t know her or of her, Laurie was the celebrated editor of Good Housekeeping and Girl’s Journal within the 70s and 80s, awarded an MBE for her excellence. She was moderately bigger than life, a smoker of cigarillos at her desk – dwelling into her 90s nonetheless – all the time coiffed in probably the most complicated of the way. And 4pm was when she’d reapply make-up and redefine the mascara. Nearly a ritual worthy of liturgy.

I’d freelanced for Girl’s Journal by way of the 80s. Then in 1986 the options editorship turned vacant. At the moment Journal was in its prime with gross sales well-north of 250,000 per thirty days and identified for its good writing. Although Laurie knew me already and of my work, I wrote her a proper software letter. It started absurdly: ‘Expensive Madam. ..’ My job interview together with her was fairly surreal as she gossiped about sure members of workers and he or she scarcely requested me any questions, besides to say: ‘You reside in Brighton. Brighton appears very doubtful to me…don’t you agree?’ When she phoned one Saturday to supply me the job – towards some comically intense lobbying by some famous doyennes – she mentioned: ‘Darling, while you known as me Madam, I knew we needed to have you ever….’ That was Laurie. All the time ever-so barely perverse and unpredictable.

On the memorial some pretty tales have been instructed of her. I had no thought she had bought to know Robert Maxwell and attended certainly one of his lavish events. One story, nevertheless, wants a bit of revision, one supposedly set at a star occasion on the Dorchester involving Laurie introducing visitor English actor Dirk Bogarde as Kirk Douglas. As instructed on the memorial, Bogarde didn’t discover the combination up and solely learnt of it later from his PA. The truth is the muddle occurred on the Savoy, at certainly one of Journal’s annual style exhibits. Dirk Bogarde had arrived a bit of the more serious for put on to make a presentation, and Laurie launched him as Humphrey Bogart. Dirk Bogarde was truly most put out and his eyes flew heavenward because the viewers cackled. However the present went on.


She not often held again if upset. If a function had not measured as much as expectation, the editor accountable would obtain a cellphone name from Laurie – ‘Darling come to my workplace now – and convey a field of tissues.’ She was no fan of clever-clever writing and invariably would say of something that fell brief – ‘Sure, however the place’s the HEART, darling’. A lot of her success owed to her supreme understanding of the readers – a timeless reward once I consider different profitable editors I’ve labored for.

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The editor-in-chief in my naughty little novel Curtains relies on Laurie, a minimum of on the mannerisms.

It was a wonderful day catching up with former colleagues on the memorial, a few of whom I had not seen in over three many years. I believe I noticed Nigel Havers, however am nonetheless uncertain. I used to be seated to a detailed pal of Laurie’s who instructed me that regardless of just a few well being issues her thoughts remained super-sharp to the tip. All of us felt Laurie had in some way deliberate her personal memorial. Might her mischief reign elsewhere.

28/11/22: Readers replicate on altering newsroom fashions and a brand new search for Press Gazette

What journalists put on and a brand new search for the Press Gazette web site have been the 2 large speaking factors from Press Gazette readers during the last week.

Press Gazette’s first redesign in a decade drew principally optimistic criticism. The absence of an all-stories information web page was famous (we’re fixing) and various deadlinks (once more almost all fastened now). However design smart most discovered it simpler on the attention.

Freelance showbiz interviewer Rob McGibbon mentioned on Twitter: “Appears to be like actually good. Cleaner, sharper, simpler on the attention – extra grown up!”

And Owen Ralph from Manchester welcomed the return of the letters web page (which replaces under the road feedback).

He mentioned: “It’s good to see a ‘letters’ web page seem once more in Press Gazette. I word that, within the spirit of the New York Occasions, you may be publishing all of the correspondence that’s match to print. Not that area will probably be a problem on-line, after all. When working with a US colleague some years in the past on a print publication with restricted pagination, he used to quip: ‘We print all of the information that matches’.”

Hamish McKay from Aberdeen wrote: “Very very like your new-look web site, plus the ever-increasing extra widespread, catholic content material. Goodness is aware of the way you handle all of it with such a small everlasting workers.

“You and your workers are doing a wonderful job in offering us with a first-class media business outlet.”

William Turvill’s investigation into the collapse of sartorial requirements in newsrooms prompted loads of debate on Twitter. Turvill divided newsrooms up into 4 style tribes: Previous Guard swimsuit wearers, Geography trainer sensible/casuals, Gen Z fashonistas and work-from-home varieties.

Jack Simpson wrote: “I actually loved this, and launched me right into a interval of self-reflection of my geography trainer style decisions. I suppose higher than the final memorable remark I bought on my alternative of garments, when somebody instructed me I gown like an IT supervisor.”

Tony Paley: “Complete information to newsroom gown codes. All the time make an effort when venturing out, and into the workplace. Shorts, which must be verboten, are positively noticed in hotter climes in Guardian Towers.”

Marc Shofman: “That is sensible! I earn a living from home however discover being sensible is extra motivating. Nevertheless, it appears I fall into the class of geography trainer!”

Bette Lynch: “I as soon as labored with a Pic Ed who all the time wore a swimsuit, tie, cufflinks. In all of the years I solely ever noticed him take his jacket off as soon as and that was when the temp went over 35 levels. The newsroom cheered.”

James Maloney: “That is glorious and really humorous for anybody who’s ever labored in newsrooms. Sadly overlooks the sartorial catastrophe zone that’s photographers.”

Jeremy Nicholl mentioned: “Bear in mind very vividly my outdated information editor on the Merseymart & Star making me put on a Maghull Chamber of Commerce tie once I forgot to put on one. By no means made that mistake once more. Even once I was a sub.

“Fortunately, it by no means utilized as a snapper. No-one cares.”

Janis Blower: “Nice learn. Within the early Seventies on the Shields Gazette the editor known as me in and requested if I had a hat. Turned out I used to be to cowl the final funeral the place you stood on the church door – it was at St Hilda’s – and took down mourners’ names. I borrowed certainly one of my mom’s.”

E mail pged@pressgazette.co.uk to level out errors, present story suggestions or ship in a letter for publication on our “Letters Web page” weblog